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How to Pack for Studying Abroad

Packing for any trip is daunting, but especially when you will be gone for a few months at a time. It is important to know that most of what you will need will be in the country you go to, so knowing what exactly you should and shouldn’t pack is important.

Do: Pack about two weeks worth of clothes

Typically, the clothes you wear the most are the clothes you are most comfortable in. Prioritize what you enjoy wearing and pack things you can layer with such as scarves, flannels and shawls. Also, make sure you pack at least one professional outfit and one dress outfit. These will be used for the days (and nights) you have to look great for your upcoming career or a night on the town with your new friends.

Don’t: Pack a ton of shampoo, conditioner and soaps

Only bring one container of each! They are needed and will be helpful to have until you can find a place to buy some, but you don’t need to pack enough to last you the whole semester. I promise, there will be places to buy hygiene products.

Do: Pack a first aid kit

No matter where you go, a first aid kit is always helpful for studying abroad because you will never know when you get hurt. Make sure your kit has bandaids, tums, ibuprofin, bandage wraps and ointment to clean any scraps and cuts you might have. This should be compact enough to fit in your carry-on but still have the supplies you need.

Don’t: Bring unnecessary items

This goes without saying. Even when you are in your dorm room in the states, you don’t want clutter. The same goes for traveling abroad! You want to have items that you know you will need for classes, travel and comfort, but you don’t want to lose out on precious space that you could have used for something else. Remember to bring photos from home and small things that can be hung and packed easily, not the precious canvas that your best friend gave you (you don’t want it ruined on the flight!).

Do: Remember chargers, wall adapters, medicine, and important documents

You want to make sure that you have proper wall adapters so then you can plug in all your chargers. These can be bought at Walmart and Target with no problems. Going off of this: REMEMBER YOUR CHARGERS! Also, don’t forget your medicine. For goodness sake, don’t forget the meds! If you will be gone for three months, make sure that you tell your doctor to prescribe you with three months worth of medicine, so you don’t need to worry about finding a pharmacy abroad. Finally, your documents, passports, visas and photo identification, are all extremely important abroad. This will help you with traveling more while you are abroad and being able to study abroad period.

Don’t: Forget to enjoy your trip

This is the chance of a lifetime, so don’t forget it! Take lots of pictures, go on day trips as often as possible and make many new friends. Find out what is local for your school and find all the new places to explore or take a weekend trip to a surrounding country. This is going to be one of the most memorable parts of your life, so don’t forget to enjoy it.

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Darby Keller


Class of 2020: Social Work Major; Women and Gender Studies and International Relations Minors Vice President and Digital Organizing Captain for It's On Us Elizabethtown
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